I was flipping through my social media accounts this morning and the theme of the day appears to be “innovation” and “transformation”.  They were used in articles in contrast like maybe they were similar but different.  I looked up the definitions of both terms in the dictionary.

Innovation (noun) – something newly introduced; such as a method or device.

Transformation (noun) – a marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better:

Granted, I picked the definitions but I used those that didn’t describe either term recursively.  Here’s what I get: an Innovation is a new thing and a Transformation is a changed thing.  So I guess they’re not really similar but they certainly are different.  But they still might be related.

So what’s this got to do with Enterprise Architecture?  I think it’s this…

Your future state is your innovation.  You aim to create something new.  Most enterprise architects are satisfied with this and set out to build this new thing.

Unfortunately, if you have an existing business, your starting point is not your blank canvass or empty project file.  You need to start with where you are now.  That’s your current state.  The plan that gets you from your starting point to your end point or from the current state to the future state is that which generates that marked change.  It’s a transformation.

You must completely understand your current state in order to build that transformational plan.  That’s business-driven enterprise architecture.  That’s complete understanding.

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